Yesterday Todays Wills and Probate reported on the fact that private client solicitors are being asked by The Law Society for their opinions on the The Law Commission wills reform project via a short survey.
Questions include topics such as rules on marriage revoking a will and the use of digital technology to make wills.
Cara Hough comments on the initiative;
The initiative behind this was started by the Law Commission a decade ago in 2013. It took until July 2017 for the initial public consultation to take place. The outcome was a general view that the law simply does not work and that the formalities for preparing a Will are outdated and too constrictive. There followed a requirement for further considerations, which were delayed due to the need to look at the legal position and then the COVID pandemic.
The review has now been picked back up again with select members of the legal profession and other relevant stakeholders being consulted a further time while the Law Commission develops its final policy, which they say they aim to publish in September 2023 (Wills – Law Commission).
While it is clear changes ought to be made (predatory marriage and the automatic revocation of a Will being just one of the issues that has sadly become prevalent in recent times), adequate protections must still be put in place to ensure any testamentary document reflects the true and accurate wishes of a person. A failure to ensure such protections will leave an estate open to legal challenge in the future – something everyone hopes to avoid.
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